Months of work, and $240 million worth of incentives, have failed to land Bombardier. Missouri’s officials are disappointed, but not down.
State Economic Development Director Greg Steinhoff had talked almost daily with Bombardier officials for the past seven months.
"Your heart sinks when you get the word that you’re not chosen," Steinhoff told the Missourinet, "At the same time, you have to step back and look at the advancements that you made."
The attempt to land a major airplane manufacturing complex at Kansas City International Airport took center stage for much of the legislative session. Senate Majority Floor Leader Charlie Shields of St. Joseph spoke to us from the Farnborough International Airshow in London, where he had hope Bombardier officials would announce they had chosen Missouri. Instead, Bombardier announced that it would stay close to home and build its newest airplane in a suburb of Montreal, Canada.
Shields didn’t hear the announcement he wanted to hear, but says KCI might still land a plant that customizes jet planes for business. That plant won’t employ the 2,000 plus workers the airplane manufacturing complex would, but could employ more than a thousand.
"I think the thing that is important to remember," Shields said, "We wouldn’t have been in this position had we hadn’t have competed for the regional jet series. So, I think there may still be some great things to come out of this."
Both Shields and Steinhoff say the effort to lure Bombardier made a statement Missouri has failed to make in the past.